Okay. So this is pretty cool.
Sunday the jam drop finally went down between me and Hari Priya. Hari Priya is Jahnavi’s jam runner (not quite). I know Jahnavi from the blog world and met her in real life this summer when she visited Gita Nagari. Jahnavi, also known as “that British Girl,” greatly appreciated the meager sample sized jar of Rose Petal Jam I gave her to take back home to enjoy. Being a total sweetheart, she picked up a jar of fig conserve for me when she was visiting Radhadesa in Belgium. She visited Alachua at the end of August, and although I saw her fiddling away on her banjo (actually, she is an extremely talented violinist), I did not get much time to catch up with her (she’s very popular…must be the red hair). So, to make a long story even longer, she left the jam with Hari Priya, who did manage to get it to me in less than a month’s time. I am impressed! If it was the other way around, it would probably have gotten lost.
Well, today I finally popped open the jar and let me say how absolutely perfect this stuff is! We had fig trees at our house in North Carolina and it was an undeniable treat having fresh, ripe figs in the morning. But sometimes jam tastes better than fresh. The conserve was not overly sweetened or over-cooked. Rather, it managed to concentrate the fig flavor into a newer, better, slightly sweeter variation on the raw fruit. I love love love it and am so happy Jahnavi gifted me this jar of pleasure. Now I will be nagging my husband to buy some fig trees to plant. And in 10 to 15 years, I will be turning out the jars of fig conserve myself. And yes Jahnavi, I will surely send you one!
I would have eaten the entire jar of fig jam with a spoon if I had not been near stuffed already from my other jam exchange which happened this week. Kurma Prabhu generously gifted me a jar of his orange marmalade which he just cooked up (and blogged about here).
My experience with marmalade is limited because my first taste of it was not very pleasant. It was the Bonne Maman Marmalade and it was overly stiff and bitter. Recently I purchased Dundee Marmalade, which seemed low on peel but had a beautiful reddish orange color and a taste too good to believe it was commercial. But now, I have to say, having tasted Kurma’s marmalade, I am hooked. The stuff he sent me had a perfect, natural kind of set to it (not too hard) and the color just glowed like a sunset–yellowish orange. For some reason it smelled like tomato soup to me, but that is probably just some strange olfactory defect of mine. The taste was only slightly bitter, which attests to his precision in separating the pith from the peel. I had just baked some bread last nite so it was easy to go through a quarter of the jar. The marmalade tasted so good that eventually I ditched the bread (too filling) and just went for it by the spoonful.
Thank you again, Jahnavi and Kurma, for adding a spot of jam to my week! And if anyone is interested in sharing their jam love with me, please don’t be shy. I know Sharon in Australia is planning on cooking up a batch of apricot jam soon. Maybe a little jam exchange could be worked out there…